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Archaeology of a Modified Structure

The artifacts from this subfloor pit feature indicate that it was in use during two distinct periods. The lower layers of soil contained artifacts that date to the period 1800-1840s, when the site was occupied by enslaved workers at William Allen’s Kingsmill plantation. This pit for storing produce and/or personal valuables was beneath the floor of a cabin. Since none of the artifacts in the lower layers date later than the 1840s, the building was likely abandoned sometime during that period and gradually filled with trash. The upper layers contained a large number of mid-19th-century and specifically military items such as uniform buttons and discarded ammunition. It appears that soldiers dug postholes around the edges of the pit and built a tiny structure measuring at most about 4 by 6 feet. When the soldiers abandoned the site or soon afterward, the upper layers filled in with the trash scattered around their quarters.